What Do Consumers Really Think About Artificial Intelligence?


Even among those in the tech industry, there are misconceptions about what the term artificial intelligence really means. So it’s no surprise that consumers are also confused. A recent global study from Pega surveyed 6,000 adults in the United States and four other countries to get a better idea of the average consumer’s understanding of the new technology. The results indicate that while 72% of participants said they understand the term “artificial intelligence,” a majority were unsure if they had ever personally experienced it. For instance, only 33% think they use technology with AI, while 77% of the participants actually do use an AI-powered service or device according to the survey.

Perception Versus Reality

This gap between consumer’s perception of AI and its actual capabilities is not surprising when you consider that half of the survey participants didn’t know that AI can solve problems and 37% didn’t understand that AI can interpret speech. This confusion over the definition of artificial intelligence could be why 70% of respondents also said they are “fearful” of AI. The negative associations that the term “AI” has for consumers could also be why companies are wary of marketing their products as such – no one wants a scary product. For instance, only 41% of respondents knew that AI is behind the technology used in Google Home and Amazon Alexa.

But despite all these misconceptions, the future looks bright for the partnership between artificial intelligence and the customer experience with 73% responding that they are open to businesses using AI with them if it makes life easier. Even if they don’t understand that it’s already happening.